High Fashion Living is going to add a Windy City feel with our new Style Feature, as we highlight her royal highness DJ King Marie. Born Christine Marie, she is a Chicagoan until Chicago ends (S/O to Ye) who is known for creating a vibe of good times by blending Hip-Hop, R&B, and Reggae. Repping her Filipino heritage to the fullest, her career has led her to have residencies in New York, LA, Manila, and Chicago, all of which have had made an impact on who she is as a person.
As you will come to learn below, Christine is a person whose persona is exuded not only in the music she plays, but in the clothes she wears. It is the latter which led to us being connected via the “Unity In Color” (UIC) project, as Christine spearheaded the production of both Chicago editions.
UIC is a visual representation of Intersectional Feminism, which is inclusive of people of color, the trans community & cis-women, LGBTQIA women, women with disabilities, women of all ages, religious faiths, and backgrounds. It is the recognition that there is more than one way to live and love and be a woman. To stand for Women’s Rights, we must acknowledge this and move forward in total unity and inclusivity. Christine chose to get involved because “the first Unity in Color photoshoot in LA was such a strong statement and was so incredibly moving. I had just left LA to move to Chicago, so I wasn’t able to be a part of it, but it inspired me to organize one in my hometown. It fills me with such joy to be a part of it all and to have so many people follow the movement in supporting women’s rights. It felt imperative to do a men’s shoot to represent Chicago. I chose men who empower women through their platforms and in their daily lives.” If those aren’t the words of a King, then I don’t know what it is, but let’s ask ourselves, what is the wardrobe that is befitting a king?
HFL: How would you describe Chicago Fashion?
KING MARIE: Chicagoans go for comfort first and foremost. If you have fashion in Chicago, you stand out because it’s one of those cities where it’s not the most critical thing to locals. But if you don’t enjoy fashion you know that you are more colorful, more layered, you want to stand out.
It’s different here; it’s not like New York where everybody wears black or LA where everybody wears Vans or worries about how you cuff your pants. It’s more streetwear meets athletic teams, as all of our sports team logos are fire. That’s why people from other cities false flag and rep our teams.
HFL: What is your personal Style Aesthetic?
KING MARIE: I always like to say that I’m a tomboy that grew into my womanhood. It is based on comfort. I feel like I dress like a bum but everyone says they rock with how I dress, so I’m just like alright if you like it I love it.
On the days I do dress up it’s like “OMG you have a body or OMG you own a dress,” and I’m just like damn.
But I do that on purpose as I have control of how I let people perceive my body. By me wearing big clothing, it’s like wearing a blanket to me because it’s just comfortable.
HFL: Why would you say you dress like a bum?
KING MARIE: Because I’m primarily in a hoodie or sweatpants my whole life, but you know they might be designer sweatpants or a hoodie that the homie made. Each piece that I own is very special to me. It’s just that I’m always in a sweat suit.
HFL: Shout out to Nelly!
KING MARIE: Lol yea but if I have Jordan 1’s on and if you know what it is that’s cool, but for me, it’s more about comfort than having people know which brand I wear.
HFL: Why is it important to you that you have control over how people perceive your body, and why do you feel that society places rules and restrictions on you that you have to establish control?
KING MARIE: Being a woman is this daily fight, and I call myself a King because I want to break barriers for people and that we can be anything we want to be. I want to cut the notion that people have this perception of me and the reasons why I do things. The older that I’ve gotten, the more comfortable I’ve gotten in my own skin.
HFL: You can also look at that as if you were ahead of the game, because now athleisure is in and a lot of women are wearing oversized men’s clothes.
KING MARIE: Yea and that got annoying too because people thought I was just doing it to be on trend, but that’s just how I wake up and how I dress. I never thought about how someone has to think about ‘Oh it’s not big enough, let me try a large, let me try an extra large.’
I call myself a one-size shorty cuz I don’t care about size I just wear whatever it is, men’s, women’s, whatever it is.
HFL: So would you say you put on for all Tomboys?
KING MARIE: I’d like to say so, but I just say I put on for all women in bigger clothing. Because a Tomboy nowadays is misconstrued with all these Tomboy Instagram accounts that are really just about fashion. I just put on for the girls that play ball or the girl that rolls a blunt, the girl that hangs with the boys that had big brothers growing up who were just down.
HFL: Why do you call yourself a King?
KING MARIE: I call myself King Marie because initially, it made more sense than Queen Marie. It explains my masculinity and my femininity. I like the confusion; I love making people guess because Queens can be Kings too.
HFL: Who are your Style Inspirations?
KING MARIE: Hmm I love high fashion, but I don’t feel that I’m ever too good to thrift. I feel like I’ve been dressing the same my whole life. I used to steal gear from my older brothers like Tommy gear, Nautica jackets, and it was always oversized, and I guess that’s why it still carries over to this day.
RAPID FIRE QUESTION
HFL: What was the last piece of clothing you bought?
KING MARIE: I went thrifting, and I got three pairs of pants, got my mom a v-neck Van Heusen sweater, and a leather skirt. That was like the wild card because I don’t wear skirts.
HFL: Favorite pair of shoes all time?
KING MARIE: Jordan 1’s, red.
HFL: Top 3 albums of all time?
KING MARIE: Ooooh shit, can I do discography cuz albums are tough? Let me think… Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, and Kaytranda lol including all of his edits.
HFL: Hot or Cold?
KING MARIE: Hot
HFL: Black or White?
KING MARIE: Grey
HFL: Finish this sentence. Style is…
KING MARIE: Who you are.